Mathematical Sciences


The PhD in Mathematical Sciences aims to provide high calibre education and advanced training in mathematics. It will take advantage of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University’s international and vibrant research environment to prepare graduates for their research careers.

Pursuing a full-time PhD typically involves three years of conducting research and one year of writing a thesis, supported by subject-specific and general skills training and development. A full-time PhD student must submit their thesis within four years (or six years for part-time PhD students).

This programme is based extensively on self-motivated research. Students on this programme are formally registered with the University of Liverpool as off-site postgraduate research students. You will carry out research on XJTLU premises under the supervision of academic staff from both XJTLU and the University of Liverpool.

The programme will be managed through collaboration between XJTLU and the University of Liverpool. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will receive a degree from the University of Liverpool recognised by China’s Ministry of Education and the UK Department of Education.

Why should I do my PhD in Mathematical Sciences at XJTLU?

Key benefits of this PhD programme:

  • Our PhD programme equips you with a range of professional skills to maximise your future employability;
  • Our supervisors will guide you through one of the most intellectually satisfying experiences of your life;
  • The PhD degree is awarded by the University of Liverpool in the UK. The degree is recognised by the UK Department of Education as well as China’s Ministry of Education;
  • Students receive supervision from academic staff at both XJTLU and the University of Liverpool;
  • XJTLU provides every registered PhD student with an international conference fund of up to 16,500 RMB. The purpose of this fund is to support students’ academic experience, encourage the dissemination of research, and enhance XJTLU’s research profile nationally and internationally;
  • As a registered full-time PhD student, you have the opportunity to apply for a research visit to the University of Liverpool for up to six months. Your accommodation and travel costs will be covered by XJTLU and the University of Liverpool; and
  • During the programme, there will be opportunities to work as a teaching assistant and develop fundamental academic and professional skills.

Research areas

Research areas within the PhD programme in Mathematical Sciences include:

  • Pure mathematics, including algebra, topology, geometry, computer algebra, algebraic statistics, combinatorics, algorithmic combinatorics, number theory, and algebraic theory of differential and difference equations.
  • Physics, including astrophysics, particle physics, statistical physics, condensed matter physics and integrable systems and math physics.
  • Applied mathematics and industrial mathematics, including system identification, process control, model identification, partial differential equations, optimisation and control theory, industrial and interdisciplinary sciences, numerical analysis, operational research, dynamical systems, image processing, coding and cryptography, computer algebra, and computer graphics.
  • Statistics, financial mathematics and actuarial mathematics, including financial mathematics, computational statistics, extreme value theory, actuarial science, risk theory, intelligent and stochastic control, insurance, machine and statistics learning, medical statistics and clinical trials, modelling operational risks, prediction theory and model selection, quantitative risk management, survival analysis and reliability, probability theory, and data distribution

To assist PhD students in Mathematics, XJTLU has world-class learning, teaching and research facilities, including:

  • The University Library Guide for PhD in Mathematical Sciences. The library guide provides a variety of resources on learning and research in the programme, including textbooks, references, recommendations on databases and digital resources, references, writing tips, and other academic tools;
  • The academic development platform. The programme collects helpful resources from professional institutions and other Schools from across the University to enhance students’ learning and research experience. These include learning materials, news, events and competitions;
  • The Intelligent Computing and Financial Technology Laboratory (ICFT). The laboratory aims to boost interdisciplinary research at XJTLU and provides cutting-edge teaching and executive training facilities. Both academic staff and students in the programme can take advantage of the innovative technology.
  • Research Institute of FinTech (RIFT). RIFT explores newly developed technologies and how they can integrate with applications in quantitative finance, risk management in insurance and finance, machine learning in actuarial science, and AI and big data.
  • Professional training platforms for the programme. Skills-development training is provided to our students with the full support of the platforms mentioned above. Additionally, the programme also provides access to a range of databases in insurance and finance:
    • – Bloomberg
    • – Datastream
    • – Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS)
    • – Wind

PhD students also have access to equipment in other Academies and Schools across the University.

Potential supervisors

School of Science

Find out potential supervisors from Department of Applied Mathematics.

Find out potential supervisors from Department of Financial and Actuarial Mathematics.

Find out potential supervisors from Department of Foundational Mathematics.

Find out potential supervisors from Department of Physics.

Find out potential supervisors from Department of Pure Mathematics.

XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang)

Find out potential supervisors from School of AI and Advanced Computing.

Find out potential supervisors from School of Robotics.

Find out potential supervisors from School of CHIPS.


Apply for a scholarship for a funded PhD project:

You can apply for a predefined PhD project which has received funds from the University or external funding bodies. The research topic and supervisory team for these projects have already been established.

There is no specific application deadline for each project as they will remain open for applications until the position is filled. The start date of a PhD programme is usually the first day of March, June, September, or December. You can visit the Postgraduate Research Scholarships page for information about the specific projects available or contact potential supervisors to discuss funding opportunities.

The scholarship application is only open to those applying for a full-time doctoral programme.

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